Long standing rumors Microsoft has its sights set on acquiring popular code repository GitHub, it turns out, may have some substance.
A report from Business Insider cites sources close to both GitHub and Microsoft who claim the two companies came together to discuss a joint marketing venture, and are now contemplating a full acquisition.
If the rumors are true, the deal would be worth somewhere in the area of $5 billion – a price one person familiar with the conversations told CNBC was too high for Microsoft’s taste.
It’s unclear whether these talks are part of serious consideration, idle chatter over other business, or if they even continue at this time.
GitHub, in 2015, received a valuation of approximately 2 billion dollars. Indications, just a few years ago, were that Git Hub was happy to keep seeking funding on the way to an eventual public offering.
Things changed, perhaps, when GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath stepped down last fall. The company has yet to find a replacement, despite considering executives from both Microsoft and Google.
If you’re into conspiracy theories, here’s one: maybe GitHub hasn’t found a replacement for its CEO (who remains with the company during this transition period) because it’s considering allowing Microsoft to acquire it for an obscene amount of money.
And, were the acquisition to go through, Microsoft would stand to benefit as well. Owning Git Hub would give it direct access to hundreds of millions of developers, working at millions of companies, all more easily encouraged to use Microsoft’s cloud services and other products.
Furthermore, Git Hub is a gold mine of AI talent, data, and resources – acquiring it would, hypothetically, give Microsoft un-brokered access.
We reached out to both Microsoft and Git Hub to confirm these reports, but did not receive an immediate response. Unlike the stock market which, according to Nasdaq.com, had Microsoft stocks up two percent within minutes of the Business Insider report.